After a wonderful afternoon at the British Museum, you might find yourself peckish for something a bit tasty and traditional. If so, head over the road and into Arthur Probsthain, a rather lovely book shop that also serves a wonderful afternoon tea menu without the pretence or expensive of some of London’s more famous tea venues.
There is something very refined about indulging in a traditional English Afternoon Tea. Drinking fresh leaf teas from bone china, devouring fresh scones with clotted cream and jam, eating dainty finger sandwiches and taking bigger than necessary bites of a freshly baked zesty lemon drizzle cake always seems to transport me to a lazy summer afternoon, where the sun has decided to make one of it’s rare appearances and the fact that I have devoured more carbs and sugar in one sitting than I would normally do in a day bothers me not one bit at all! And it’s bizarre, because Tea & Tattle does this to me, and yet this small tea shop is actually situated in a basement with very little natural light – but that’s the power of a good afternoon tea I guess!
The menu in here is a mixture of expectations and surprises. Obviously you won’t be surprised to know that they have scones, sandwiches, cakes and tea on the menu, but you might be surprised at the extensive choice of sandwich fillings, accompanying jams and the many choices of tea available! The sandwiches range from the expected traditional Cucumber & Cream cheese (£3.80), to the slightly more decadent Parma Ham, Rocket & Red Onion Marmalade (£4.40 and delicious) and even to the unsavoury Honey, Banana & Walnut! (£4)
Move onto the scones (pronounce how you wish) and while there’s not much interesting you can do with clotted cream (although correct me if i’m wrong!) they sure do make up for that with the interesting choice of accompanying jams – Bramble & Brambly, Strawberry & Black Pepper and Damsen, to name but a few!
And then the teas… I’m not really one for tea so I tend to opt for a latte instead (£1.90) but if I was a tea lover, I imagine i’d be in my element, with a selection of teas from around the world, including Assam from India, Oolong from Taiwan and Ceylon from Sri Lanka, and well as the usual favourites such as English Breakfast and Earl Grey, all £3.20 per person. The cakes err more of the side of expected with Coffee & Walnut, Victoria Sponge and Carrot Cake amongst the choices, each priced at £3 a slice, but really, there’s no need to get overly fancy, is there?
Set menus including all your favourites are available from £15 and booking is advisable as the small quaintness of this venue in conjunct with the great food means it fills up very fast!